One of the main challenges facing the Spanish videogame industry is, in addition to the lack of financing mechanisms, the lack of parity in the sector. Female employment only reaches 16.5%, which contrasts with the balance that has been reached in terms of "gamers" in which they are already four out of ten players, as reflected in the White Paper on the Spanish Development of Video Games 2018, published yesterday by the Spanish Video Game Developer (DEV). A fact that far from increasing, went down again. Thus, if in 2015 the presence of women in the Spanish industry reached 18%, in 2016, it decreased to 17%. A percentage that was repeated in 2017 and that last year fell to 16.5%. That is, the worst data of the last four years. And despite this, this situation is in line with the main European industries, such as Sweden with 20%; Finland, 18%, and France, which is worse, with 14%. In other words, the entire sector, also in Europe, must face this anomaly. Something referred to by the Minister of Culture, José Guirao, who criticized the presence of women in this industry is still "less than 20%" with respect to men and are therefore still "very few" those who work in this sector, where "parity" has to be achieved.
It is also noted that the composition of the base teams, in general, is characterized by having few women, since of the total number of workers identified, 80% are men and only 20% are women. As they specify to this newspaper, that 20% of women's presence refers "to the audio sector for video games". In this way, when entities have only one person in their base team, this is almost exclusively male, while as the base team grows, thanks to the creation of companies, the presence of women reaches the level of 50% of the team. It should be noted that this growth is mainly due to two factors: the presence of women as voice professionals (dubbing companies are the ones with the most numerous base teams) and their work in production tasks, an existing area in companies of greater importance. However, technical work usually falls to men, regardless of the type of entity.
But, why is it that female presence does not have the weight that it should in this industry? Gisela Vaquero, activities coordinator of Women in Games Spain, video game designer and founder of Jellyworld Interactive, the video game company that promotes equality, explains that it is "a sociocultural problem. Two things are mixed: technology and video games, and in both cases it has always been said that they are things for children, for them, and that from the beginning of this industry. We still need to make women more visible, to encourage girls, to play and to think that this sector is also theirs. "
In fact, "most of the women who work in the videogame industry are in production and art, the minors in programming and music."
But, almost half of the "gamers" in Spain are women? "Yes, 44%, but despite this only 20% are considered" gamers ", since they tend to be mobile players, and only 5% are in eSports». "Women do not dare to work in this industry" and that has to be changed.
"Finding a video game made only by women is difficult. Almost impossible. There are teams with women, but as soon as the team is five or more people, the majority of the team is men. I do not know any team with five or more people that is only women. I highlight the videogame '' Astrochat '', of women astronomers for mobile phones. Another is the group Etheral Psyche Games, in which two people in the team, developed the video game '' Cute Boxes ''. In addition, there are also individual projects created by women ».
"Unlike the cinema, the feminist movement in this sector has started later. It is a reflection of society itself, of what happens in literature, in cinema and in other arts. If when I started within the Association I only found three or four women in this industry today, although they are still few, they are already 16.5%, but there is still a long way to go, "says Vaquero, who emphasizes that" while at international level the presence of women has risen, here, on the other hand, it has stagnated ». In addition, "lack of videogame entrepreneurs," says Vaquero, who from Women in Games Spain are working on a White Paper on Women in the Video Game Industry. There is no publication date yet.
Change of role
There is also still an important way to go in terms of how the female characters in video games are, something that will help to attract more "gamers" women, although steps are already being taken in this line. Thus, the female characters were represented as the "four '' s '': secondary, saved, submissive and sexualized, a reification to achieve the devotion of man». That is, video games with female roles aimed at male players.
But "companies are working in new roles, with strong, brave and empowered women, as in Horizon Cerodown or Lara Croft, a benchmark of the evolution of female characters: from the sexual to a more realistic and fighter woman. It is the best example of the change that is taking place ", he concludes.